Kitchen gets rowing to mark 1st birthday
A TWYFORD tea room has celebrated its first birthday by taking part in a Dragon Boat race.
Emma’s Kitchen, which is based in London Road, marked its first year in business by raising more than £200 for its neighbour, bereavement charity Daisy’s Dream.
Owner Emma Saville said she always hoped the tea room would be welcomed by the local community, but has been overwhelmed by the support of villagers.
She said: “I saw an opening for something a little bit different in Twyford, I didn’t want to tread on any toes but it seems that people have really taken to us, which is great.
“I love giving back to the community as well, so supporting a local charity such as Daisy’s Dream made perfect sense. The Dragon Boat racing wasn’t a one-off, we support them throughout the year through various fundraising initiatives and we have a collection tin for them on the counter.
“The race [at Thames Valley Business Park on Sunday, August 19] was lots of fun! I’ve never done anything like it before, and we didn’t really know what to expect. I jumped in with a team of other small independent businesses and we were given three chances to get our best time. We started off just seeing it as a bit of fun, but we did get more and more competitive as the day went on!
“I’d set myself a target of £150, so to raise £217 was brilliant, I am so pleased.”
And Emma’s community spirit does not end there: she champions a diverse workforce, offering work placements to youngsters with additional needs.
Emma said: “We had one young woman who started off with us on work experience when we first opened, and she did such a good job we offered her a part-time, permanent position.
“A lot of the time, these kids leave school and they aren’t offered any more opportunities.
“I am proud that we can offer them a safe place to gain experience, learn some new skills and sometimes even get a job at the end of it.
“If people aren’t given a chance to use their skills then how will they move on in their careers?”
Now that the tea room is so well-established, Emma says she has some exciting plans up her sleeve.
She said: “The kids’ area continues to grow, we have a parent and baby group which will start up again next week, and we have a sand artist visit every week which is exciting, there’s always something going on.
“Our meeting room is being used more and more by local businesses and companies who are looking for a more relaxed place to meet with clients, I’m pleased it’s become so popular.
“We are also testing out some ideas for bringing something new to Twyford, but it is in the very early stages so you will have to watch this space!”
For more information on Emma’s Kitchen, visit www.facebook.com/emmaskitchenreading.
Emma’s Kitchen will be holding a Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday, September 22. Customers are encouraged to bake their own cakes to be sold in the tea room, with all proceeds going to the charity. In addition, 10% of sales of Emma’s Kitchen’s own cakes will also be donated towards Macmillan.
Emma Saville from Emma’s Kitchen in Twyford.The tea room has just celebrated its first birthday